Collin Matiza Sports Editor
SEVEN of Zimbabwe’s top junior and senior motocross riders, led by the talented Emmanuel Bako and Daiyaan “D” Manuel, will carry the country’s flag in this year’s South African National Championship series whose opening round revs off at Rover in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The South African National Championship series is a tough seven-round event spread over nine months. It is staged in different cities or provinces in that country and it usually attracts top junior and senior motocross riders from South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
And this year Zimbabwe will once again be represented by two of its finest young riders Bako and Manuel, who are both 12, and have entered to race in the 65cc and 85cc Class respectively.
Bako, a Grade Six pupil at Heritage School in Harare, and Manuel of St. John’s College, also in Harare, will be joined in this year’s South African National Championship series by Zimbabwe’s senior champion rider Jayden Ashwell, who will compete in the main MX1 Class, and fellow countryman Ashley Thixton, an MX2 Class biker.
Two other top Zimbabwean junior riders Regan Wasmuth and Tristan Grainger will also be part of Team Zimbabwe in this year’s South African Nationals in which they will be battling for the top honours in the 125cc High School Class.
Young Emile Croisette, who made his debut appearance in the South African tracks during last Saturday’s opening round of South African Northern Regions series at Sasolburg, has also been entered to compete in that country’s Nationals and he will be carrying the Zimbabwean flag in the junior 50cc Class.
Bako, Manuel, Ashwell, Thixton, Wasmuth, Grainger and Croisette are all gearing up for the opening round of the tough South African National Championship series at Rover this Saturday where they will be aiming to take the first step to the podium in the different classes they will be competing in.
And all eyes at Rover will be on Bako who warmed-up for this event by winning the 65cc Class during last Saturday’s opening round of the South African Northern Regions series in Sasolburg where he was just a joy to watch on his Husqvarna bike.
Bako is a solid young rider and it will be interesting to see if he carries that momentum into this Saturday’s event at Rover which interestingly falls on the birthday of his father and manager, Brighton “Bucks” Bako. The young rider has promised to give his father a perfect birthday present by taking the first step on the podium in the 65cc Class.